Painless Potatoes Au GratinBesides your children being healthy and happy (and letting you sleep in, for once!), what would make your dreams come true on Mother’s Day?

Here are some responses to that question I got last week on The Six O’Clock Scramble’s Facebook page:

“Laundry, they could do the laundry.”

“Clean the house, top to bottom, mow the lawn, and take me out to dinner!”

“Let me use the bathroom in peace from potty time all the way through a shower.”

“Leave me home in peace and quiet”

“Let me enjoy a day of gardening, make dinner and CLEAN up the dishes.”

“Let me sleep in until 7 a.m. and not scream for me outside the bedroom door.”

“Pick up their socks”

Every day, we do so much for our families from kissing their “owies”, packing their lunches, making their meals, driving them to school or activities, filling out forms, writing checks, reading them stories, doing their laundry, tucking them in…the list goes on and on. We do it with so much love, and honestly, for most of us, caring for our families even in these mundane ways is the most important and fulfilling thing we do.

On Mother’s Day, however, many of us hard-working moms want to turn the normal routine on its head.  We want our family to do a little more for us to show their appreciation for all we do for them. In my case, I want Andrew and the kids to let me sleep in, and while I’m doing that, I want them to clean my car, inside and out. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Since so many of us cook for our families at least once a day, it’s also nice to get a break from the kitchen on Mother’s Day. I picked this recipe as one your family can make for you because it’s so comforting and delicious, yet it’s not very hard for them to put together, even if they aren’t very experienced in the kitchen. It can also be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on which meal works best for your family.

Blueberry French Toast 680w

For a Mother’s Day brunch alternative, you might love Baked Blueberry French Toast, which your family can assemble the night before and it can bake while you are sleeping in the morning.

Recipe: Painless Potatoes Au Gratin

  • Prep Time: 15 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 60 min(s)
  • Total Time: 75 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

Make a lighter version of potatoes au gratin quickly with no need to parboil the potatoes first.


    • ½ tsp. kosher salt
    • ½ tsp. black pepper
    • ¾ tsp. dried rosemary
    • ¾ tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, if desired, and very thinly sliced (3 – 4 potatoes)
    • 2 cups chopped ham (optional)
    • 1 ½ Tbsp. butter
    • 1 cup nonfat milk (or whatever kind you have)
    • 1 Tbsp. flour
    • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a round or square 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Lay the potatoes evenly in the casserole dish, sprinkling the spices and ham (optional) between each layer.

    In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and heat the milk in the microwave. Whisk the flour into the butter for about 30 seconds, then add the hot milk and bring it just to a boil. Stir in the cheese for about a minute, and pour the sauce evenly over the potatoes. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it for about 20 more minutes until the potatoes start to turn golden brown and are very tender. (Meanwhile, prepare the egg salad and the carrots, if you are serving them.)  Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

    Slow Cooker Directions: Turn the slow cooker on high and put the butter in the bottom of it and let it melt while you prepare the potatoes.  Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour, then the spices and cheese. (You may reserve some cheese to put on top if you wish).  Add the potatoes and turn them well to coat.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or reduce to low and cook for 8-10 hours.  (Top with reserved cheese up to 30 minutes before serving.)

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